Building Your Model Railroad Blog


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Building Your Model Railroad Blog

This is the official BYMRR Model Railroad Blog Page containing many excellent articles all about model railroading - train tutorials, modeling tips and techniques, layout scenery, wiring your railroad, automating your trains, building your layout benchwork, operating your trains and and links to model railroading supplies. Written by model railroad authorities on how to build a layout step-by-step.

To subscribe to this train blog, simply go to your favorite RSS reader and copy and paste this link into the proper feeder URL and you will immediately get all the updates on the newest model railroading tools, techniques and supplies...

Contributions to this blog are very much encouraged and will be accepted after approval by the moderator. You may include a reference to your own website if it is related to model railroading or railfanning.  Include photos whenever possible. You may also include train products that you would like to sell.

To sell products on this site, you must first go to the Classified Page and enter your information, product and price.

Please remember that all submissions to this blog must be in good taste (nothing vulgar or derogatory) and must be about trains, railroads, model railroads, railfanning, model structures, etc.  All other entries will not be permitted.

The mission and goal of this model railroad blog is to enable interaction among model railroaders everywhere, to share information about the hobby to all those who are interested and to promote model railroading as a fantastic, enjoyable, artistic craft that enhances comradery and brings people together.

New and Updated Pages:

Sep 19, 2021

Jack Burgess on How to Photograph your Layout

Sep 18, 2021

Consisting with Digitrax and NCE by Larry Pucckett

Sep 17, 2021

Auto Train

Take a train ride and bring your car with you!

Sep 15, 2021

Southern Pacific Donner Pass Layout Tour

Sep 14, 2021

Interview with Steve Miller of the NMRX on WiFi Signals

Sep 13, 2021

Huge G Scale Layout in a Driveway!

Sep 09, 2021

Everard Junction Layout Tour

Sep 08, 2021

How to Install the Woodland Scenics Utility System

Sep 07, 2021

An Intermodal Yard that You can Model, by DJ's Trains

Sep 06, 2021

How to Make Your Own Hot Wire Foam Cutter (by Luke Towan)

Sep 05, 2021

How to Make a Rock Structure with XPS Foam (From Black Magic Craft)

Sep 04, 2021

How to Cut XPS Foam for Scratchbuilding Projects (from Black Magic Craft)

Sep 01, 2021


This issue of Tracks: Sept-Oct 2021, contains tons of information about model railroading along with lots of pictures and videos.

Continue reading "Tracks-Sept-Oct-2021"

Aug 16, 2021

Model Railroad Classifieds

Have model railroad items to sell? List them here on Model Railroad Classifieds!

Continue reading "Model Railroad Classifieds"

Jul 24, 2021

MRC Model Railroad Digital Command Control System

MRC Digital Control System with the $78 price tag for my purchase. Will take $40. Email: Text: (713) 884-5248

Continue reading "MRC Model Railroad Digital Command Control System"

Jul 24, 2021

Bachmann Model Railroad Command Control System

The system is pictured in the attached photos. The box is still wrapped in its original cellophane with the $92 purchase receipt attached. Will take $45.

Continue reading "Bachmann Model Railroad Command Control System"

Jul 03, 2021

Using Servos on Your Train Layout

How to use servos for automation on your train layout

Continue reading "Using Servos on Your Train Layout"

Jul 01, 2021

Model Railroading Questions and Answers

Answers to questions about model railroading submitted by our readers

Continue reading "Model Railroading Questions and Answers"

Jul 01, 2021

Tracks: July-Aug 2021

Now a bimonthly newsletter for all those who enjoy the art and craft of model railroading with new tips, techniques and videos

Continue reading "Tracks: July-Aug 2021"

Jun 26, 2021

Model Railroading Video Solutions

A lot of us model railroaders have been trying to create videos of our layouts from the engineer's cab perspective using small security mini-cameras that are difficult to mount onto our locomotives and are very non-prototypical in appearance. So I was excited to discover a new tiny, micro-sized WiFi camera that has been made specifically for us model railroaders with the following features:

~ This camera can fit right in the cab of the locomotive (HO scale or larger), or inside boxcars, or it can operate as a flatcar load. It can be also be hidden inside buildings or in scenery anywhere on your layout.

~ The camera can be powered either from DCC track power or from an onboard backup battery.

~ It can stream live video directly to your web browser or mobile device.

~ You can stream real-time video from your engine cab to remote viewers anywhere in the world with no more than a 1-second delay.

~ Run remote operating sessions.

~ Share layout videos and photos with family, friends, and other model railroaders.

~ Magnetic On/Off - Swipe a magnetic wand over the camera to turn it on or off.

Click the link below to learn more...

Continue reading "Model Railroading Video Solutions"

Jun 17, 2021

Thunder and Lightning

I live in Rawlings, VA and just found your website. I am looking for some information about incorporating lightning and thunderstorms in a background setting for an S gauge layout I am starting now. Any assistance would be appreciated. Carlton.

Ed.: Thanks for your question! An article in the next issue of Tracks should help answer your question about this and lots of other sound effects that you can use for your layout. Look for it on this blog on July 1, 2021.

Jun 17, 2021

Comment on Switchbacks Article

Thanks so much for providing the articles and information about switchbacks and zig zags used in earlier standard and narrow gauge railroads. It may be well worth your while and our fellow readers' interest to speak to the folks at the Great Northern Historical Society and learn more about the Great Northern Railway switchbacks between Skykomish, Washington and Wenatchee, Washington. The water stops and GNRR company towns on Windy mountain and Cowboy mountain at the time were; Skykomish, Scenic, Elba, Nippon, Alpine, Wellington and Cascade Tunnel Station. I think that is the full list of GN company towns on this part of the old route now, but I do not have my map in front of me-its still rolled up in a tube haha. The folks at the Skykomish historical society would be a great source of information too. The 100th anniversary of the Wellington Avalanche 1, march 2010 was commemorated by the descendants of the GN employees and passengers that were on the passenger train that was buried in the avalanche on 1, March 1910. I would like to forward more information to you if possible as quite a debate was created by a retired BNSF executive describing how the old route could still be used for rail traffic with reconstruction of the old route. This would would eliminate the issues of ventilation and tunnel flushing required in the new cascade tunnel since 1956 when the pantograph power for the electric locomotives was ripped out. This was a huge mistake by the Great Northern at the time as all they needed to do was upgrade to larger electric locomotives and sell the old Baldwin electrics to the Pennsylvania RR(which they did) The switches there were used between 1892 and 1929 during the coal and oil-fired steam era with GN company towns that were water stops and the coal stop and upper switching yard at Wellington, Washington The folks at the Skykomish, Washingtom Historical Society would also be a great source of information and help as well. Please keep up the great work you are doing. Leon Edward Zaharis

Continue reading "Comment on Switchbacks Article"

Jun 17, 2021

Question about Curved Viaduct Kits

Question from Jeff:
I'm trying to create a portion of the Glenfinnan viaduct in my layout. I've seen the Faller Curved viaduct kit. Does anyone know if the roadbed that that comes with is detachable? Or does anyone know of another curved viaduct kit for sale, preferably one with smooth concrete instead of bricks?

Send in your answer on the Comments Page and I will forward it to Jeff...

Continue reading "Question about Curved Viaduct Kits"

May 28, 2021

My HO train layout

I built an HO train layout on a 6x6 foot section of thick plywood. My layout includes a working silver mine, a southwestern U.S.A.village, a wharf with

Continue reading "My HO train layout"

May 28, 2021

My HO train layout

I used a 6x6 foot section of thick plywood for the base supported by two sawhorses. I bought a cheapo Bachmann train set and an oval track layout. The

Continue reading "My HO train layout"

May 09, 2021

Tracks: May 2021

Tracks Newsletter with information, photos and videos for model railroaders of all ages and all scales

Continue reading "Tracks: May 2021"

Apr 27, 2021

Essential Considerations in Designing a Custom Model Railroad

Things to consider when designing a custom model railroad

Continue reading "Essential Considerations in Designing a Custom Model Railroad"

Apr 07, 2021

Tracks: April 2021

The April issue of Tracks is once again full of model railroading information, pictures and videos for all ages and all scales.

Continue reading "Tracks: April 2021"

Apr 01, 2021

Caboose Diorama

I built a diorama (16 x 12) of a pond and an abandoned caboose entering a tunnel. I touched up the caboose with streaks of gray and rust-colored paint

Continue reading "Caboose Diorama"

Apr 01, 2021

Cape Cod Harbor Diorama

I built a diorama of a Cape Cod harbor with a sand dune,piers,buildings,and various sized boats(hand carved kayaks,row boats,motor boats,and a fishing

Continue reading "Cape Cod Harbor Diorama"

Apr 01, 2021

Caboose Diorama

Abandoned Caboose diorama with a pond and people camping out on the pond.

Continue reading "Caboose Diorama"

Mar 10, 2021

help with finding brand of building kit

Hi Just getting back into Model Railroading after a long break. Digging out my old stuff I found this Service Station Model brand new, still with plastic

Continue reading "help with finding brand of building kit"

Mar 06, 2021

Traffic Signals for Your Model Railroad Layout

How to install traffic signals on your model railroad layout.

Continue reading "Traffic Signals for Your Model Railroad Layout"

Mar 03, 2021

3D Printing

3D printing is a great way to create unique 3D models or parts for your miniature model railroad in any scale.

Continue reading "3D Printing"

Mar 01, 2021

Tracks: March 2021

This issue of Tracks is once again chock full of news, information, tips and videos all about model railroading and railfanning.

Continue reading "Tracks: March 2021"

Feb 28, 2021

Wiring Railroad Signals

Wiring railroad signals is a somewhat mysterious aspect of model railroading. A simple wiring method is described here for manual operation. References provided for automatic operation.

Continue reading "Wiring Railroad Signals"

Feb 24, 2021

Maintenance of Way (MOW) Railroad Equipment

MOW, or maintenance of way, equipment is an important part of any prototypical railroad, and can be incorporated into any model railroad layout to enhance realism and operations.

Continue reading "Maintenance of Way (MOW) Railroad Equipment"

Feb 17, 2021

Trolley Layout

Building a trolley layout is another facet of this wonderful hobby that can provide loads of enjoyment for the young and old alike. Here's how to get started.

Continue reading "Trolley Layout"

Feb 08, 2021

Tracks Model Railroad Newsletter

The February 2021 issue of Tracks contains a ton of useful information all about building and managing your model railroad.

Continue reading "Tracks Model Railroad Newsletter"

Jan 26, 2021

Digitrax DS64 Stationary Decoders

Two new Digitrax DS64 stationary decoders. I bought these about 5 years ago for a project that was delayed. Upon restarting the project I decided not to

Continue reading "Digitrax DS64 Stationary Decoders "

Jan 26, 2021

Layout Surface: Plywood or Foam?

Q: I am planning a 4X6ft. N scale RR. I plan to use a 4X6ft. piece of plywood. I want to nail the track to a cork sub roadbed. What advantage does foam have? Thanks.

A: The main reason I like to use foam pads as a layout surface is that if you want to dig out a creek, a lake or a ravine, it is much easier to do that if the surface is foam rather than plywood. It’s also helpful if you want to put a magnet under your track to use for uncoupling. A third reason is that it is easier to manage wiring. You can run wires easily through the middle of a foam pad to the side of your layout where your turnout switches or control panel might be located, or to run wires for an new light fixture that you want to put in the middle of your layout. Fourth, you can more easily embed a structure into foam so that you don’t have the foundation of your structure hovering over the surface of the layout. It’s also easier to plant trees in foam than in plywood. Foam is quieter than plywood when running trains. I also think that nailing the track down to plywood doesn’t allow for expansion and/or contraction of the track as the temperature and humidity change throughout the different seasons. So after a few years, you might find your track buckling a little.

You still need the plywood under the foam pad for a good, steady layout surface, but for all the reasons above, I like foam pads on the top.

Continue reading "Layout Surface: Plywood or Foam?"

Jan 16, 2021

Small N Scale Train Layout

Step-by-step creation of a small N Scale model train layout - A great way to get started, or if you just want to take a break from the big layout.

Continue reading "Small N Scale Train Layout"

Jan 12, 2021

Custom Train Hobby Table

Custom Train Table Solid Wood 8x10' 2x3' (removable middle) In northern Cincinnati area, pick up only. $100 OBO

Continue reading "Custom Train Hobby Table"

Jan 11, 2021

How to Get Locomotive Sound on a DC Analog Layout

Question about How to Get Sound on DC Layouts:

I have an analog layout... If I buy an N scale loco with onboard sound will the sound work on the track?


The answer is YES, but not with a regular DC transformer. You will have to purchase a special DC transformer that has this capability.

It is made by Model Rectifier Corp, called MRC Tech 6. It can operate DCC sound-decoder-equipped locomotives on analog track with all the usual DCC functions including the ability to change CVs and programming of the decoders.

Here is a video explaining its capabilities.

Another option would be to just switch over to DCC with a Digitrax Zephyr or NCE starter system. These can operate both DC (using “00” as the code) and DCC locomotives.

Continue reading "How to Get Locomotive Sound on a DC Analog Layout"

Jan 03, 2021

Tracks: January 2021

Tracks - a model railroad newsletter with lots of great tips and tricks on how to build your own model railroad.

Continue reading "Tracks: January 2021"

Dec 27, 2020

Tracks December 2020

Tracks is a monthly newsletter containing short articles, videos, tips and techniques of interest to model railroaders of all ages and all scales.

Continue reading "Tracks December 2020"

Dec 13, 2020

Collector's Items

We just received a large shipment of mostly brand new and mostly N scale items from a collector on consignment to sell. All the items are gradually being cataloged and added to the storefront. However, if you have any interest in obtaining any particular brand or road-name at markedly discounted prices, let us know and we'll send you some pictures and prices.

Continue reading "Collector's Items"

Nov 17, 2020

Need help on track

I am just entering the world of N gauge and would like to start with a somewhat basic and small track setup. I have reviewed some scenes/layouts, but

Continue reading "Need help on track"

Nov 17, 2020

San Diego Model Railroad Museum

The San Diego Model Railroad Museum in sunny Southern California is not only home to award-winning layouts, but boasts an Online Gift Shop, full of apparel, mementos, and books for any train lover. Little ones will love sporting an engineer's cap, playing with a changeable trains-former, or reading classic stories like The Little Engine That Could. Grown-ups can sip their morning cup of Joe out of a Rosie the Riveter mug, show their love of the railroad with a fun t-shirt, or put some steam in their holiday baking with a locomotive cookie cutter! The best part? Every purchase you make directly supports the museum, helping to preserve the heritage and practice of model railroading for future generations!

Visit to see the full selection and place your order. If you have any questions, contact Happy Holidays!

Continue reading "San Diego Model Railroad Museum"

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Recent Articles

  1. Jack Burgess on How to Photograph your Layout

    Sep 19, 21 12:00 AM

    Read More

  2. Consisting with Digitrax and NCE by Larry Pucckett

    Sep 18, 21 12:00 AM

    Read More

  3. Auto Train

    Sep 17, 21 12:00 AM

    Take a train ride and bring your car with you!

    Read More